On October 21, Jordan’s king Abdullah bin al-Hussein announced that his country had decided to terminate the Peace Treaty annexes on Baqura and al-Ghamr, which allowed Israel to use these town areas.
“Baqura and al-Ghamr are Jordanian territories. They will remain as such, and we exercise full sovereignty over our territories …Our priorities amidst current difficult regional conditions are to protect our interests and exert all possible efforts in the interest of Jordan and Jordanians,” the Jordanian King said during a meeting with political figures at Al Husseiniya Palace, according to the Jordanian News Agency (Petra).
Two annexes of the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan allowed Israel to lease 405 hectares of Baqura and al-Ghamr and a small area known as the “Island of Peace” near the Sea of Galilee. However, the lease was limited to 25 years only.
In his first comment on the issue, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country will negotiate with Jordan to extend the lease of Baqura and al-Ghamr under the 1994 treaty. Netanyahu’s statement indicates that Israel is not willing to give up on the areas easily.
“[Israel] will enter negotiations with it [Jordan] on the possibility of extending the current arrangement,” the Reuters news agency quoted Netanyahu as saying.
The U.S., which is among the main backers of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, has not commented on the Jordanian King decision so far. Amman is one of the key allies of Washington in the Middle East. However, this will not stop the Trump administration from developing its hardcore pro-Israeli policy and supporting Netanyahu blindly on the issue.
Considering complicated social and economic situation in Jordan, this will likely lead to creation of another point of tensions in the region. The Jordanian population has already held a series of rallies demanding the return of the nation’s land leased to Israel.